Martyrdom of Zayd bin Ali, the son of Imam Zain al-Abedin (A.S.)
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 2nd of the Islamic month of Safar in 121 AH, on this day in 121 AH, Zayd bin Ali, the son of Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) – the great-grandson and 4th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) – was cruelly martyred near Kufa in Iraq by the Godless Omayyad regime at the age of 42.
His mother was a virtuous lady from Sindh in what is now Pakistan, and he rose up against the tyranny of Hesham Ibn Abdul-Malik, the 10th self-styled caliph of the usurper regime, in order to safeguard the achievements of the uprising of his Infallible Grandfather, Imam Husain (AS). After being deserted by the Kufans, he bravely fought until he was martyred.
His son Yayha buried him in the riverbed of the Euphrates by briefly diverting the waters and then restoring their normal flow, but the Omayyads bribed turncoats to find the location. They took out the corpse of this pious and learned member of the Prophet’s Household, decapitated it, hung it on the gallows for four years, and finally burned it.
Zayd’s martyrdom was foretold by Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) over a hundred and ten years ago when he put his hand on the back of his younger grandson, and said: “O Husain, it will not be long until a man will be born among your descendants. He will be called Zayd; he will be killed as a martyr. On the day of resurrection, he and his companions will enter heaven.”
Zayd’s body was later buried, and his head which had been sent to Damascus was, after the fall of the hated Omayyads, buried in Karak in Jordan, which was then part of Syria. Zayd’s sons were also persecuted, especially Yayha, who was martyred in 125 AH, after a valiant fight in distant Khorasan in the area called Jowzajan which is presently in Afghanistan. The Zaydi Shi’ite Muslims of Yemen revere Martyr Zayd as an Imam, although he never claimed the imamate, and was obedient to his elder brother, Imam Mohammad Baqer (AS), and after him to his nephew, Imam Ja’far Sadeq (AS).